Evidence-based Parent Training for Adoptive Couples

Period of Performance: 09/01/2017 - 08/31/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Iris Media, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT The goal of the proposed project, Lesbian and Gay Adoptive Parents Program (LG?APP), is to provide lesbian and gay (LG) adoptive parents with a parent training and support program that is specifically tailored to meet the challenges they face. Although the number of LG couples adopting children is increasing, existing support services and training programs have not been empirically tested with this population, nor adapted to meet its specific needs. Research indicates that the comparatively higher rates of behavioral problems and psychological maladjustment adopted children experience can be alleviated through access to support services and parent training programs. Unfortunately, research indicates that homophobic attitudes among adoption professionals and community members present barriers to LG couples' ability to advocate for support services and successfully parent their adopted child. LG parents have expressed a strong desire for support services and parent training; adoptive parents in general prefer to access services through web?based or other electronic media. LG?APP is designed to provide LG adoptive parents with evidence?based parent training that addresses specific challenges LG adoptive parents face and is delivered via web?based electronic media for continuous and easy access. LG?APP adapts the evidence?based Parent Management Training?Oregon model (PMTOTM) to the context of LG adoptive parenting and will feature exposure to realistic vignettes in which gay and lesbian people serve as natural, positive parenting models. The completed LG?APP curriculum will consist of ten modules that provide training in successful adoptive parenting strategies and will address issues specific to LG adoptive parents. In Phase I, we will develop a prototype intervention consisting of core LG? APP components offering training in communicating with the adopted child and giving effective directions. Program development will include focus groups, consultant input, usability testing, and expert consultant review. We will also conduct a pilot test with a sample of 48 LG parents to determine the level of social validity, perceived efficacy, behavioral intention to use the proposed parenting strategies, and satisfaction with the program's tone and content. In Phase II, after having established the program's proof of concept, we will develop the entire LG?APP program and evaluate its efficacy in a large randomized controlled trial. The Principal Investigator has extensive grant management experience; project team members have years of experience in translational research involving media and Internet technologies. IRIS Ed, a recipient of 12 Telly media awards, maintains an active parent training product line. The necessary institutional support, equipment and physical resources are available to develop and disseminate the program. IRIS Ed has a history of completing Phase I and Phase II SBIR projects, and prides itself on its commitment to commercializing training interventions.